Accidents at a workplace, especially at heavy industrial domains, can cause unpleasant distress situation for both, the employees and the employer. After all, it is a matter of people’s safety. To protect the rights of employees, laborers or workers, it is mandatory for every business to be compliant with the  Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA),  Under this act, the business is required to have an Accident Prevention Plan (APP), drafted and implemented.

The APP is a written document which explains business specific health hazards and what provisions are made by the employers to mitigate those risks. Essentially, the APP document must enlist safety topics, as mentioned by the guidelines from State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I).

Business’ requirements for an Accident Prevention Program/Plan

For preparing the Accident Prevention Plan, the business must look around to identify all the workplace hazards, that can prove detrimental to employee’s health and safety. For each of the identified hazards, the safety measure must be put into action. For this purpose, the employers must provide a detailed safety orientation to the employees, to make them aware of these health hazards.

To be more specific, the APP document must cover the following topics

  • Specifications for illness and injury report
  • First aid equipment location and instructions
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • The procedure of evacuation in case of emergency
  • Analysis of hazards at the job
  • List of unsafe practices and detailed report
  • Identifying and working with hazardous chemicals

Safety committees are deployed at the workplace to conduct meetings and take care of all the safety concerns of the employees.

How does an Accident Prevention Plan helpful?

The APP contains all detailed information about the safety instructions and hazards of the workplace. This aims at keeping the vigilant eye over any mishap and employees are made aware of these too so that they can be more careful in their day-to-day work routines.

This would help in fair contesting of accident compensation claim litigations such as PPD award, made by the employee who has suffered a permanent disability.

Legal importance

It is tragic for the employee and for his/her family to experience any health hazards in the workplace. Since the employee is an asset for the company, he/she deserves some consolation in form of compensation, from the employer’s end. This is ethical.

By maintaining the proper formatted and detailed APP document, the business can prove itself legally responsible in safeguarding the health of its employees. This further prevents the employer from getting into any unreasonable accident compensation claims, by the employee-victim or his/her family.

More on preventing workplace accidents

Along with drafting and implementing Accident Prevention plan, here are some tips to be followed at the workplace, to avoid or minimize the effect of any damage to the physical and mental health of the employee:

  • Provide and make it mandatory to wear safety gears
  • Make employee go through the pre-employment screening, to determine physical or mental health issues.
  • Carry out emergency drills and make compulsory participation for each of the employees.
  • Maintain the environment that keeps employee alert at the workplace like providing coffee, necessary work breaks, etc.

The employer has a professional as well as an ethical responsibility towards the safety of its employees. They must follow the legal safety norms and do not hesitate to go beyond traditional methods, to ensure the prevalence of security at the workplace.